ARCANUM – Ansonia, Arcanum and Tri-Village all saw progress from their football teams as they wrapped up the seven-on-seven portion of the preseason on Thursday.
Arcanum hosted a six-team seven-on-seven scrimmage with Ansonia, Brookville, Dixie, Lehman Catholic and Tri-Village on Thursday, utilizing a round robin format.
“It’s good competition,” Arcanum coach TJ Powers said. “That’s what we needed.”
As their summer camps are concluding, all of the Darke County coaches said they’ve seen great progress out of their teams.
“We’re fighting for the ball more, we’re understanding you’ve got to play this game with a great sense of urgency, and we’re communicating better,” Tri-Village coach Jason Schondelmyer said. “You’ve got to communicate. If you want to be a great defense you’ve got to communicate. I felt like we did a better job of that.”
In Ansonia’s second scrimmage of the summer, coach Eugene Hoening said he saw his quarterbacks throwing accurate passes and receivers running sharp routes.
“We improved from last night to today or even through the course of the day we got better,” Hoening said, referencing a Wednesday scrimmage at Union City. “Passes we were missing earlier we were completing. So I think it was a good experience. If nothing else it’s a lot of repetitions and we get used to the heat a little bit.”
The Tigers have two young quarterbacks – sophomore Matt Shook and freshman Hunter Buckingham – competing for their starting quarterback position so Thursday’s passing scrimmage was a great opportunity for them to gain experience.
“They both really look good right now,” Hoening said. “Through the course of the scrimmage they were getting better and better.”
Like Ansonia, Arcanum didn’t have a chance to practice since its previous seven on seven at Fort Loramie. Even without any practice time, Powers said, he saw an immense amount of improvement from his team.
“I was really, really, really pleased overall with our play today and the improvement that we made since our first seven on seven against Fort Loramie,” he said. “We started out a little slow today and we ended a little slow – I think we got a little fatigued – but in the middle we were flying around and getting after it. We need to come out of the chutes ready to rock. The intensity level was good, and everybody was in it. So much better.”
With the summer camps coming to an end, teams are excited about getting ready for the quickly approaching regular season.
“I’m really pleased with where we’re at,” said Schondelmyer, whose team is gearing up for its first season of varsity football. “We’re a lot farther along than we were at this point last year.”
Soon teams will be able to put on full pads and really see what they have.
“It’s a new phase now,” Powers said. “The seven-on-seven phase is over. So now it’s real football.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.